3 Tips for Helping Children Adjust to a New School Schedule

3 Tips for Helping Children Adjust to a New School Schedule

As the warm days of summer end, many children start to get excited about meeting their new teacher, seeing their classmates, and shopping for new school supplies. Even so, adjusting to a new fall school schedule can be challenging for some kids. Follow these tips to help your children stay active and embrace the start of a new school year.


Tip #1: Speak About the School Year Like It's a Grand Adventure

Your children will pick up on your attitude about the new school year. Start a countdown to the new school year, then treat the first day of school as a cause for celebration. Continue the jovial attitude about the new academic year once school starts. Even if you dread early school mornings and longer commutes, hide the displeasure from your children so that they don't pick up on it.

A positive attitude can be surprisingly contagious. Point out all the good things that may happen. Kids may look forward to the following activities at the start of the school year:

  • Getting to know their new teacher.
  • Telling friends at school about their summer adventures.
  • Having play dates with classmates on the weekend.
  • Learning about their favorite subjects.
  • Enjoying holidays like Halloween that take place early in the school year.
  • Celebrating their friends birthdays at school parties.
  • Looking forward to after-school activities.

When children get nervous about the end of summer, mentioning one of these activities may help cheer them up and focus their thoughts on the good things to come.


Tip #2: Ask Lots of Questions About the School Day

Stay closely involved in your kids' lives during the new school year by talking to them about their day. No matter how much time you can spend with your children after school, the time will be enriched when you ask thoughtful, open-ended questions about life through your little ones' eyes. Instead of the stereotypical and uninspiring question about how their day was, be specific.

Also, ask about how your child can improve the next school day. That can help kids solve some of their own problems with teachers and classmates. Try one of these questions to get some fun, meaningful conversations started with your kids after school:

  • Which part of your day made you the happiest?
  • What is the kindest thing someone did for you today?
  • What is the kindest thing you did for someone else?
  • How could you make tomorrow a better day for yourself?
  • How could you make tomorrow a better day for a kid in school who feels left out?
  • What do you wish your teacher would say to you tomorrow?
  • What would happen if you had a happier attitude tomorrow?

Consider these questions and let them inspire some of your own. By asking your kids thought-provoking questions that are age-appropriate, you can empower your children to get more out of school.


Tip #3: Create Themes for the Days of the Week

Creating themes for each day of the week can help your kids adjust to a new school year. Along with each day's theme, you may opt to try a new weekly tradition. That can create a sense of consistency for your children and also give them something to look forward to at school each day.

For example, if you pick the theme Museum Mondays, then you may go to a museum with your kids after school each Monday. Alternately, on Terrific Tuesday, you could learn a new, terrific magic trick with your kids each Tuesday. Likewise, you could choose Films on Fridays, you could watch a new educational film with cinema-loving kids after dinner every Friday.

Finally, contact the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati to find the right after-school activities for your children this autumn. Whether your kids want to learn how to swim, learn a new type of dance or try a new form of exercise, our caring team offers supportive lessons. They'll soon discover they can enjoy fun through fitness all throughout the new school year.